Saturday, July 25, 2009

MAHARASTRA: Home dept gears up to meet Naxal challenge

Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN 26 July 2009, 01:05am IST
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MUMBAI: The Jayant Patil-led home department is redrafting its strategy on dealing with Naxalites in view of the possibility of stepped-up violence
in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts during "martyr week (shaheed saptah)", which will start on July 28 and continue till August 3.

Naxalites across the country observe the martyr week in the memory of Charu Majumdar, who spearheaded the Naxalite movement in the 1960s. "Our information is that during the week, the Naxalites, in collaboration with the Maoists, will resort to large-scale violence, particularly in Gadchiroli and Chandrapur districts. We have redrafted our strategy and will thwart their attempts to create instability,'' a senior official told TOI on Saturday.

"The Naxalites now move in large groups of 100-200, attack their targets and then disperse in different directions,'' the official added.

Law-enforcing agencies, said the official, had already identified the likely targets and steps would be taken to ensure that the Naxalites did not succeed. "We have deployed adequate paramilitary forces in the sensitive areas. We have also received assistance from the Centre,'' he added.

Chief minister Ashok Chavan has appointed Jayant Umranikar DGP (special operations) to monitor developments in the affected areas. Also, another official of the rank of police superintendent (Aheri tehsil) has been appointed to tackle the situation. "Our instructions are very clear, we will not tolerate further killing of our policemen,'' Chavan said.

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